Local to take part in Katimavik

This January, Sandi Elliott from Fort Frances will begin her eight-month Katimavik experience along with hundreds of other young Canadians.
Katimavik is a volunteer-service program for youths aged 17-21 who want to make a difference and try something new.
Since 1977, more than 28,000 young Canadians have taken the same route, learning valuable skills through volunteering, group living, and discovering their country.
During the Katimavik program, Elliott will live in three Canadian communities: Moose Jaw, Sask., Trois-Pistoles, Que., and Clarenville, Nfld., where she will volunteer about 35 hours a week for a variety of non-profit organizations.
Everyday life will consist of living with 10 other young people her age and a project leader in a house rented by Katimavik.
The project leader will supervise the activities and ensure the program’s implementation, through workshops and activities pertaining to leadership skills, official languages, environmental issues, cultural discovery, and a healthy lifestyle.
Katimavik offers young Canadians the chance to discover what kind of work they enjoy, learn new skills, contribute to communities, build their résumé, meet new people, learn some French, get work and life experience, and kick start their future.
As a socio-economic study conducted by Malatest & Associates Ltd. in 2005-06 revealed, two-thirds (66 percent) of participants claimed that Katimavik influenced their career plans.
Valerie Loxterkamp, a recent participant from North Vancouver, B.C., is a fine example, demonstrating that the gap year can be very advantageous for careers in the making.
“My volunteer placement at Pembina Institute in Drayton Valley, Alta., working on research and development on solar energy, as well as volunteering with the Nordic Ski Club, made me realize which facets of the experience I found engaging and wanted to pursue.
“I am now enrolled in Capilano College’s outdoor recreation management program because of what I learned during my time with Katimavik,” Loxterkamp added.
Since 1977, more than 28,000 young Canadians have participated in the Katimavik program—developing their sense of civic responsibility and gaining self-confidence.
Katimavik, which receives financial support from the Department of Canadian Heritage, aims to form responsible citizens who will contribute significantly to Canadian society.
Throughout 2007-08, activities will be planned to celebrate Katimavik’s 30th anniversary.
For more info, visit www.katimavik.org